Renewable Energy Opportunities

An Expert's View about Environmental Technologies in Colombia

Last updated: 22 Mar 2011

Colombia has a strong endowment of renewable energy sources and is a fitting pilot for efforts to further transition into a low carbon economy.

Sector briefing Renewable Energy Opportunities in Colombia Why Colombia? Colombia has a strong endowment of renewable energy sources and is a fitting pilot for efforts to further transition into a low carbon economy. Over the longer term, it is likely that non- fossil energy sources will become increasingly significant in the Colombian energy balance because the scope of domestic fossil energy sources (natural gas in particular) is limited. The strong rise in demand and the desire of the country to remain an energy exporter, accompanied by environmental requirements, ?Colombia offers good will make it necessary to adopt alternative opportunities for British solutions. companies that can provide Incentives have been introduced such as tax new technology and breaks for generation from Alternative expertise and recently, Energies for 15 years. multilateral organisations have engaged in a number Find general information on Colombian market conditions on UKTI?s website. The of renewable energy Doing Business Guide for Colombia gives an projects that could be of overview of Colombia?s economy, business interest for British culture, potential opportunities and an companies? introduction to other relevant issues. UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Renewable energy opportunities in Colombia have attempted to stimulate the growth of Opportunities solar power: a) PESENCA, a project to Renewables in promote alternative energy in the country Colombia today provide 28.1 MW and consist of 19.5 MW of wind, 2.6 MW through a technology demonstration centre to small hydroelectric, and 6 MW photovoltaic. research and dissemination of drying, water This represents 0.2% of installed capacity in heating, charcoal gasification, and biogas. the country. Among its programs, PESENCA donated more than 35 photovoltaic energy plants in Colombia has 11 non-connected zones that education, health centres, and community lack any electric power and account for as houses; b) Centro Gaviotas: provided much 68% of the total country. This includes thousands of solar water heaters in low 114 municipalities and a population of 1,191,538 inhabitants that are not connected income homes in Medellín and Bogotá to the grid. The 6 MW of solar power that has been installed in Colombia is equivalent to about There are several projects that could be 78,000 solar panels, distributed in the implemented to provide power to the non- following manner: 57% in rural connected population, using other alternative applications;43% in road signalling, (with a sources of energy. minimal amount in cathodic protection). It is clear that solar systems can be very suitable Some specific opportunities are: for rural applications, where energy demands Wind are much lower than in other regions of the country and where grid connection is often The wind regime in Colombia is among the more costly. best in South America. Regions of the Hydropower northern part of Colombia ?specifically off- shore- have been classified to have class 7 With nearly 70% of the country?s energy winds. The only other region in Latin America generation, it?s clearly an important energy with such high wind power classification is the source in the country. Patagonia region (of Chile and Argentina). It has been estimated that Colombia has a wind There is a current project ?Atlas of Hydro power potential of 21,000 MW ?in the Guajira Power in Colombia? a joint effort between region?which would be enough to generate IDEAM (National Meteorological Studies enough power to meet the Colombian power Institute and the UPME (National Mining demand twice. Power Unit) to establish the hydro potential in the country. The inventory of hydro projects The most important eolic project has been the of more than 100 MW indicates that the Jepirachi Park with an installed capacity of potential is 96 GW, while small (20 MW) 19.5 MW. There are other projects under hydropower projects could generate 25,000 consideration, including a 200 MW project in MW. the northern coast and the Jouktai Project with a capacity of 31 MW through wind Geothermal power turbines. The geothermal potential in Colombia is Solar attractive due to the recent volcanic activity Colombia has a great solar resource in all of in the occidental and central cordilleras and its territory. Its daily average potential is 4.5 the latent igneous activity present in some 2 kWh/m . The area in Colombia with the best regions of the oriental cordillera. Three solar resource is the Guajira peninsula, with a specific areas have been identified: i) Azufral, 6 kWh/m2 radiation. Two programs in specific in the Nariño department, where the Azufral UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Renewable energy opportunities in Colombia volcano is located and where a high MW of potential to produce electricity in temperature reservoir appears to exist; ii) these. Cerro Negro-Tufiño, located between Currently, there are eight co-generation Colombia and Ecuador, where the Chiles projects run by the 5 major Sugar Mills in the volcano sits, atop a magnetic camera Calle Department with investments close to between 5-10 kilometers with temperatures US$ 326 m. It is estimated that 268 MW will between 220 and 230C, optimal temperatures be generated by 2011. Self-generation for utilization in geothermal energy projects provide 800 MW country-wide, generation; and iii) Paipa, located in the representing a minimum amount of the oriental estimated installed capacity of 13,456 MW. cordillera in Boyacá, where sedimentary rocks and magmatic intrusion at Studies have established that the sugar a depth of approximately 5 km. sector presents the biggest cogeneration potential given the immense amount of Biomass energy available baggasse (6 m. tonnes/year). Colombia has a great biomass potential from Power Projects through CDM banana, coffee pulp, and animal residues. It has been suggested that biogas can be There is a national portfolio of 118 CDM obtained from anaerobic treatment in banana projects in different cycles. Out of these, 13 producing zones. The region of Urabá in the projects are registered before the CDM north of the department of Antioquia has Executive Board with a potential annual approximately 19,000 hectares of banana reduction of 1.238.893 tonnes of CO2e. The plantations, where more than 1 million tons Colombian DNA has approved 21 projects and are produced annually. four have 295.200 issued CERS. In terms of coffee, the potential comes from the residues, which Discriminating among sectors, energy account for about 40% of the total humid accounts for 38 projects with potential annual weight. It was estimated that approximately reductions of 3.3 m. tonnes of CO2e. This 85,000 Toe would be produced per year from sector represents 32% of the total portfolio the 190 million m3/yr of biogas generated and the important participation of small-scale from coffee plantations, equivalent to hydro projects. It is estimated that if all 995,000 MWh. projects were implemented, the country could count on an additional installed capacity of The existing potential is of 8.46 million Toe 865MW from hydroelectric, eolic, thermal and from renewable wood, 0.99 million Toe biomass plants. sugarcane baggasse, and 2.53 million Toe If you have any questions on the urban and agricultural residues. Other than opportunities above, contact the UKTI the traditional use of fire wood as a direct contacts named in this report. Business fuel, the use of biomass as an energy source opportunities aimed specifically at UK is low in the country. In the department of companies are added daily to UKTI?s website. Risaralda there is a 4MW sugar cane These leads are sourced by our staff overseas baggasse plant. The costs of per kW installed in British Embassies, High Commissions and using biomass depend in the method of Consulates, across all sectors and in over 100 conversion. These are: US$700/kW for a gas markets. turbine, US$1,200 for a vapor turbine, and You can be alerted to business opportunities US$1,200 for an internal combustion motor. on a regular basis by registering on the UKTI It has been estimated that the landfills in the website. Find out more on UKTI?s business four main cities in Colombia (Bogotá, opportunities service on the UKTI website. Medellín, Cali and Barranquilla), have a 47 UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Renewable energy opportunities in Colombia Major events and activities UKTI contacts Find full details of all events in this Elvira Martinez country and sector on the UKTI website. Trade &Investment Officer British Embassy Bogota New export events are added daily to the site Tel: (57 1) 3268263 and you can register to be alerted to them on Email: a daily, weekly or monthly basis UKTI?s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) Edward Dallas provides grant support for eligible Small & Head of UKTI Medium Sized Enterprises (SME's) to attend British Embassy Bogota trade shows overseas. Find out more about Tel: (0086 10) 5192 4320 UKTI support for attendance at overseas Email: events UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Renewable energy opportunities in Colombia Next steps - How UKTI can help This work is available via our Overseas British companies wishing to develop their Market Introduction Service (OMIS) a business in the Colombia market are advised chargeable service which assists British-based to undertake as much market research and companies wishing to enter or expand their planning as possible in the UK. UKTI?s team in business in overseas markets. Colombia, with its wide local knowledge and experience, can provide a range of services to To find out more about commissioning this British-based companies wishing to grow their work, or accessing other UKTI services and business in global markets. specialist advice, please visit the UKTI website to find contact details for your local This can include: UKTI office. ? Provision of market information ? Validated lists of agents/distributors ? Key market players or potential customers in the Colombian market ? Establishment of interest of such contacts in working with you ? Arranging appointments ? Organise seminars or other events for you to meet contacts and promote your company in the Colombian market Whereas every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this document is accurate, neither UK Trade & Investment nor its parent Departments (the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office), accept liability for any errors, omissions or misleading statements, and no warranty is given or responsibility accepted as to the standing of any individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned. Published 2011 by UK Trade & Investment. ©Crown Copyright 2011 You may reuse this information (not including logos, images and case studies) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: This publication is also available from our website at or for more information please telephone +44 (0)20 7215 8000. UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Renewable energy opportunities in Colombia
Posted: 22 March 2011, last updated 22 March 2011

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